As employers move into on-site care could they start to decrease managed care contracts?

The increase in the number of employers offering on-site care to their employees has impacted healthcare in the US in several ways. On-site healthcare clinics can improve access to medical services which in turn encourages more employees to take advantage of those services. Healthier employees are happier and more productive. In addition, on-site clinics can actually reduce healthcare costs, for the employer as well as the employee.

On the other hand, there is growing frustration among employers with managed care contracts in that they don’t seem to be impacting healthcare costs as significantly. Buyers Health Care Action Group (BHCAG) Executive Director Steve Wetzell says in Managed Care that “employers are more and more questioning if they are going to get their needs met.” He further states that “employers may as well just go right to the providers.”

The Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) states that “managed care dollars can represent a significant percentage of a healthcare organization’s revenue” and that “strong managed care contracts can also enhance patient satisfaction because they facilitate patient access to comprehensive treatment and services.”

As more employers turn to on-site healthcare clinics as a benefit for their employers, they are recognizing that option as an effective way to drive down their own costs, as well as their employees’ costs. In fact, there has even been some correlation between employers that offer “outstanding health and wellness programs,” such as on-site healthcare clinics, and their financial performance.

In addition, patient access to medical services increases with the proximity of on-site clinics. Convenience is a significant factor in whether employees take advantage of the healthcare services available to them. When they access the clinic’s preventative services, they are able to realize health benefits that also benefit their employer.

Employers that provide on-site care could very well start to decreased their managed care contracts, as the on-site clinics are shown to reap quality health benefits at reduced costs.